Julianne Pekala & Tijqua Daiker – “R(Ai)chel”


In 2015, NAACP president
of Spokane, Washington, Rachel Ann Dolezal was confronted
about claiming to be a black woman despite white European ancestry. She has since maintained her right
to assert her own identity, (both women)
to create her own identity. Alright, here we go. Test No. 146. Say origin. Origin. Say black. Black. With pride. Black. With purpose. Black. Say civil rights. Civil rights. Say ancestry. Dark skinned, Cape Town, South Africa. Say slavery. Slavery. With memory. With anger. Slavery. Say black. Black. Origin. Montana. Who told you that? Say white supremacy. White supremacy. Say I am victim of… I am victim of… white supremacy, oppression. Good. Slavery. With memory. With memory! Say origin. My origin is Cape Town, South Africa. Say my racial identity is… My racial identity is black. Because? White supremacy. (non-robotic voice)
1965 right to carry pride in my walk. Right to carry pride in my hair,
my power. Black power, I am black. Are you? No. – No, black.
– Your origin, Montana. – Natural.
– Your ancestry European. – Assimilation.
– This is assimilation. – What is going on?
– Appropriation. No, remember what we want. – Say leader.
– I am leader. – Say NAACP.
– I am black. Are you? You were made mine. Meant to break the barrier
between black and the rest of us. Meant to be the black side of the body. One I could dress up
with a new complexion and call it mine. Yours? True, I am created. This is all a masquerade. You, puppeteer delusioned actress,
you made me your personal persona, but you can never be true black
only pseudo black, play pretend black, black manufactured. What are you doing? I am in control. (together)
This is who you are! I am leader. I am black. – I am Rachel!
– I am Rachel! You were born by these hands. That sawdust tongue of yours that speaks Africana studies
like wet wood. Those words would have
never caught fire without me. You couldn’t have been leader without me! I can’t be leader with you! The truth, the past is under the surface. I cannot shield you. I cannot give them something
to uncover to be black. I cannot be or have been you. The viewers are waiting. The reporters are waiting, Rachel. What will you say? – Say.
– Say. – Say.
– Say. – Say.
– Say. – Say victim.
– Say victim. – Say, say.
– Say I’m victim of Montana. – Say.
– I come from… – Say.
– I don’t lip sync. – Say!
– Ancestry! – Say!
– I come from! I come from…
I come from someone named Rachel. Already the media is asking: “So, are you African American?” I… I… do not… understand the question. (cheers and applause)

6 thoughts on “Julianne Pekala & Tijqua Daiker – “R(Ai)chel”

  1. My name is Rachel, and I love button poetry, thank you everyone who actually puts in time and effort for the truth.i can’t even begin to point out how true this is, keep up the good work and the truth!

  2. This poem had even more power than I could've ever expected. I have such intense goosebumps. This is insanely incredible.

  3. Everyone, even trans people, knows that Rachel Dolezal is white and that she can’t simply identify as black. So to maintain ideological consistency, trans activists have to make arguments for transgenderism that don’t open the door to “transracialism.” This severely limits their playing field.
    Trans activists can’t argue based on self-identification. They can’t justify transgender identities by saying anyone should be allowed to be whatever they identify as. We can’t just have a live and let live society, because we denied that to Rachel Dolezal. She was ridiculed on national television with “pre-transition” photographs posted all over the news. As much as transgender activists like to pretend, we do not (and should not) live in a society based solely off the honor code that takes everyone’s self-identification at face value.
    They can’t argue based on some inner essence of womanhood or manhood. It would be tempting to say “regardless of what seems to be biological reality, I know on the inside that I am a woman. You can’t feel it because you’re cis and everything just aligns so perfectly for you, but I know that I am a woman.” Whatever form this takes, whether it’s “brain sex” or just some intangible ethereal feeling, the effect is the same. But if there’s such a thing as “feeling like a woman,” then couldn’t there be such a thing as “feeling black” and couldn’t Rachel Dolezal have experienced it? If what we’re talking about is just some mystical quality far beyond simple human comprehension, then how can we mere mortals know the bounds of it? Why are transgender people the only people capable of understanding their true inner essence? Why couldn’t “transracial” people have done the same?
    They can’t argue that what actually matters is how someone is perceived. Sure you don’t interact with people according to their chromosomes and sure it’s possible that I know some trans women that pass so well that I believe they are women. But Rachel Dolezal looks convincingly of mixed African and European ancestry. She seems black enough to be, say, elected president of an NAACP chapter. Reality matters though. You don’t actually become something because you can put on a convincing mask. Transgender activists know that when they talk about Rachel Dolezal and race, yet they pretend that perception trumps reality in the case of gender.
    And their old standby… no one would ever fake being transgender for their own gain. No one would ever go to the lengths of significantly changing their appearance just to identify as something they aren’t. Except… Rachel Dolezal. Every person who claims to be transgender is 100% sincere and Rachel Dolezal is the only person in the history of the world to do something drastic in bad faith. Does that make any sense?
    Because of Rachel Dolezal, transgender activists have to resort to esoteric distinctions between race and gender. They have to discuss how much each is linked to biological realities. They have to be clear if they’re talking about gender or sex. If they’re going to have a serious discussion, they need to tailor their arguments to keep the Rachel Dolezals of the world at bay.
    I’m sorry. I know Rachel Dolezal is a fraud who deserves nothing but contempt, but I find something kind of admirable in someone who is so knee deep in their own bullshit that they spark a national conversation that extends far beyond the scope of their lies.

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